Research papers and code for "Farzad Khalvati":
Good results on image classification and retrieval using support vector machines (SVM) with local binary patterns (LBPs) as features have been extensively reported in the literature where an entire image is retrieved or classified. In contrast, in medical imaging, not all parts of the image may be equally significant or relevant to the image retrieval application at hand. For instance, in lung x-ray image, the lung region may contain a tumour, hence being highly significant whereas the surrounding area does not contain significant information from medical diagnosis perspective. In this paper, we propose to detect salient regions of images during training and fold the data to reduce the effect of irrelevant regions. As a result, smaller image areas will be used for LBP features calculation and consequently classification by SVM. We use IRMA 2009 dataset with 14,410 x-ray images to verify the performance of the proposed approach. The results demonstrate the benefits of saliency-based folding approach that delivers comparable classification accuracies with state-of-the-art but exhibits lower computational cost and storage requirements, factors highly important for big data analytics.

* To appear in proceedings of The 14th International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (IEEE ICMLA 2015), Miami, Florida, USA, 2015
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Content-based image retrieval (CBIR) of medical images is a crucial task that can contribute to a more reliable diagnosis if applied to big data. Recent advances in feature extraction and classification have enormously improved CBIR results for digital images. However, considering the increasing accessibility of big data in medical imaging, we are still in need of reducing both memory requirements and computational expenses of image retrieval systems. This work proposes to exclude the features of image blocks that exhibit a low encoding error when learned by a $n/p/n$ autoencoder ($p\!<\!n$). We examine the histogram of autoendcoding errors of image blocks for each image class to facilitate the decision which image regions, or roughly what percentage of an image perhaps, shall be declared relevant for the retrieval task. This leads to reduction of feature dimensionality and speeds up the retrieval process. To validate the proposed scheme, we employ local binary patterns (LBP) and support vector machines (SVM) which are both well-established approaches in CBIR research community. As well, we use IRMA dataset with 14,410 x-ray images as test data. The results show that the dimensionality of annotated feature vectors can be reduced by up to 50% resulting in speedups greater than 27% at expense of less than 1% decrease in the accuracy of retrieval when validating the precision and recall of the top 20 hits.

* To appear in proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Image Processing Theory, Tools and Applications (IPTA'15), Nov 10-13, 2015, Orleans, France
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Current image segmentation techniques usually require that the user tune several parameters in order to obtain maximum segmentation accuracy, a computationally inefficient approach, especially when a large number of images must be processed sequentially in daily practice. The use of evolving fuzzy systems for designing a method that automatically adjusts parameters to segment medical images according to the quality expectation of expert users has been proposed recently (Evolving fuzzy image segmentation EFIS). However, EFIS suffers from a few limitations when used in practice mainly due to some fixed parameters. For instance, EFIS depends on auto-detection of the object of interest for feature calculation, a task that is highly application-dependent. This shortcoming limits the applicability of EFIS, which was proposed with the ultimate goal of offering a generic but adjustable segmentation scheme. In this paper, a new version of EFIS is proposed to overcome these limitations. The new EFIS, called self-configuring EFIS (SC-EFIS), uses available training data to self-estimate the parameters that are fixed in EFIS. As well, the proposed SC-EFIS relies on a feature selection process that does not require auto-detection of an ROI. The proposed SC-EFIS was evaluated using the same segmentation algorithms and the same dataset as for EFIS. The results show that SC-EFIS can provide the same results as EFIS but with a higher level of automation.

* Benchmark data (35 breast ultrasound images with gold standard segments) available; 11 pages, 4 algorithms, 6 figures, 5 tables;
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Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death in North America. As an integrated part of computer-aided detection (CAD) tools, diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI) has been intensively studied for accurate detection of prostate cancer. With deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) significant success in computer vision tasks such as object detection and segmentation, different CNNs architectures are increasingly investigated in medical imaging research community as promising solutions for designing more accurate CAD tools for cancer detection. In this work, we developed and implemented an automated CNNs-based pipeline for detection of clinically significant prostate cancer (PCa) for a given axial DWI image and for each patient. DWI images of 427 patients were used as the dataset, which contained 175 patients with PCa and 252 healthy patients. To measure the performance of the proposed pipeline, a test set of 108 (out of 427) patients were set aside and not used in the training phase. The proposed pipeline achieved area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.87 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.84-0.90) and 0.84 (95% CI: 0.76-0.91) at slice level and patient level, respectively.

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Diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MR) is a powerful tool in imaging-based prostate cancer screening and detection. Endorectal coils are commonly used in DW-MR imaging to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the acquisition, at the expense of significant intensity inhomogeneities (bias field) that worsens as we move away from the endorectal coil. The presence of bias field can have a significant negative impact on the accuracy of different image analysis tasks, as well as prostate tumor localization, thus leading to increased inter- and intra-observer variability. Retrospective bias correction approaches are introduced as a more efficient way of bias correction compared to the prospective methods such that they correct for both of the scanner and anatomy-related bias fields in MR imaging. Previously proposed retrospective bias field correction methods suffer from undesired noise amplification that can reduce the quality of bias-corrected DW-MR image. Here, we propose a unified data reconstruction approach that enables joint compensation of bias field as well as data noise in DW-MR imaging. The proposed noise-compensated, bias-corrected (NCBC) data reconstruction method takes advantage of a novel stochastically fully connected joint conditional random field (SFC-JCRF) model to mitigate the effects of data noise and bias field in the reconstructed MR data. The proposed NCBC reconstruction method was tested on synthetic DW-MR data, physical DW-phantom as well as real DW-MR data all acquired using endorectal MR coil. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis illustrated that the proposed NCBC method can achieve improved image quality when compared to other tested bias correction methods. As such, the proposed NCBC method may have potential as a useful retrospective approach for improving the consistency of image interpretations.

* 11 pages
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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a crucial medical imaging technology for the screening and diagnosis of frequently occurring cancers. However image quality may suffer by long acquisition times for MRIs due to patient motion, as well as result in great patient discomfort. Reducing MRI acquisition time can reduce patient discomfort and as a result reduces motion artifacts from the acquisition process. Compressive sensing strategies, when applied to MRI, have been demonstrated to be effective at decreasing acquisition times significantly by sparsely sampling the \emph{k}-space during the acquisition process. However, such a strategy requires advanced reconstruction algorithms to produce high quality and reliable images from compressive sensing MRI. This paper proposes a new reconstruction approach based on cross-domain stochastically fully connected conditional random fields (CD-SFCRF) for compressive sensing MRI. The CD-SFCRF introduces constraints in both \emph{k}-space and spatial domains within a stochastically fully connected graphical model to produce improved MRI reconstruction. Experimental results using T2-weighted (T2w) imaging and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) of the prostate show strong performance in preserving fine details and tissue structures in the reconstructed images when compared to other tested methods even at low sampling rates.

* 9 pages
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While lung cancer is the second most diagnosed form of cancer in men and women, a sufficiently early diagnosis can be pivotal in patient survival rates. Imaging-based, or radiomics-driven, detection methods have been developed to aid diagnosticians, but largely rely on hand-crafted features which may not fully encapsulate the differences between cancerous and healthy tissue. Recently, the concept of discovery radiomics was introduced, where custom abstract features are discovered from readily available imaging data. We propose a novel evolutionary deep radiomic sequencer discovery approach based on evolutionary deep intelligence. Motivated by patient privacy concerns and the idea of operational artificial intelligence, the evolutionary deep radiomic sequencer discovery approach organically evolves increasingly more efficient deep radiomic sequencers that produce significantly more compact yet similarly descriptive radiomic sequences over multiple generations. As a result, this framework improves operational efficiency and enables diagnosis to be run locally at the radiologist's computer while maintaining detection accuracy. We evaluated the evolved deep radiomic sequencer (EDRS) discovered via the proposed evolutionary deep radiomic sequencer discovery framework against state-of-the-art radiomics-driven and discovery radiomics methods using clinical lung CT data with pathologically-proven diagnostic data from the LIDC-IDRI dataset. The evolved deep radiomic sequencer shows improved sensitivity (93.42%), specificity (82.39%), and diagnostic accuracy (88.78%) relative to previous radiomics approaches.

* 26 pages
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Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) have shown considerable promise for mitigating the challenge of data scarcity when building machine learning-driven analysis algorithms. Specifically, a number of studies have shown that GAN-based image synthesis for data augmentation can aid in improving classification accuracy in a number of medical image analysis tasks, such as brain and liver image analysis. However, the efficacy of leveraging GANs for tackling prostate cancer analysis has not been previously explored. Motivated by this, in this study we introduce ProstateGAN, a GAN-based model for synthesizing realistic prostate diffusion imaging data. More specifically, in order to generate new diffusion imaging data corresponding to a particular cancer grade (Gleason score), we propose a conditional deep convolutional GAN architecture that takes Gleason scores into consideration during the training process. Experimental results show that high-quality synthetic prostate diffusion imaging data can be generated using the proposed ProstateGAN for specified Gleason scores.

* Machine Learning for Health (ML4H) Workshop at NeurIPS 2018 arXiv:1811.07216
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As an analytic pipeline for quantitative imaging feature extraction and analysis, radiomics has grown rapidly in the past a few years. Recent studies in radiomics aim to investigate the relationship between tumors imaging features and clinical outcomes. Open source radiomics feature banks enable the extraction and analysis of thousands of predefined features. On the other hand, recent advances in deep learning have shown significant potential in the quantitative medical imaging field, raising the research question of whether predefined radiomics features have predictive information in addition to deep learning features. In this study, we propose a feature fusion method and investigate whether a combined feature bank of deep learning and predefined radiomics features can improve the prognostics performance. CT images from resectable Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients were used to compare the prognosis performance of common feature reduction and fusion methods and the proposed risk-score based feature fusion method for overall survival. It was shown that the proposed feature fusion method significantly improves the prognosis performance for overall survival in resectable PDAC cohorts, elevating the area under ROC curve by 51% compared to predefined radiomics features alone, by 16% compared to deep learning features alone, and by 32% compared to existing feature fusion and reduction methods for a combination of deep learning and predefined radiomics features.

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Cox proportional hazard model (CPH) is commonly used in clinical research for survival analysis. In quantitative medical imaging (radiomics) studies, CPH plays an important role in feature reduction and modeling. However, the underlying linear assumption of CPH model limits the prognostic performance. In addition, the multicollinearity of radiomic features and multiple testing problem further impedes the CPH models performance. In this work, using transfer learning, a convolutional neural network (CNN) based survival model was built and tested on preoperative CT images of resectable Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients. The proposed CNN-based survival model outperformed the traditional CPH-based radiomics approach in terms of concordance index by 22%, providing a better fit for patients' survival patterns. The proposed CNN-based survival model outperforms CPH-based radiomics pipeline in PDAC prognosis. This approach offers a better fit for survival patterns based on CT images and overcomes the limitations of conventional survival models.

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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most aggressive cancers with an extremely poor prognosis. Radiomics has shown prognostic ability in multiple types of cancer including PDAC. However, the prognostic value of traditional radiomics pipelines, which are based on hand-crafted radiomic features alone, is limited due to multicollinearity of features and multiple testing problem, and limited performance of conventional machine learning classifiers. Deep learning architectures, such as convolutional neural networks (CNNs), have been shown to outperform traditional techniques in computer vision tasks, such as object detection. However, they require large sample sizes for training which limits their development. As an alternative solution, CNN-based transfer learning has shown the potential for achieving reasonable performance using datasets with small sample sizes. In this work, we developed a CNN-based transfer learning approach for prognostication in PDAC patients for overall survival. The results showed that transfer learning approach outperformed the traditional radiomics model on PDAC data. A transfer learning approach may fill the gap between radiomics and deep learning analytics for cancer prognosis and improve performance beyond what CNNs can achieve using small datasets.

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Lung cancer is the leading cause for cancer related deaths. As such, there is an urgent need for a streamlined process that can allow radiologists to provide diagnosis with greater efficiency and accuracy. A powerful tool to do this is radiomics: a high-dimension imaging feature set. In this study, we take the idea of radiomics one step further by introducing the concept of discovery radiomics for lung cancer prediction using CT imaging data. In this study, we realize these custom radiomic sequencers as deep convolutional sequencers using a deep convolutional neural network learning architecture. To illustrate the prognostic power and effectiveness of the radiomic sequences produced by the discovered sequencer, we perform cancer prediction between malignant and benign lesions from 97 patients using the pathologically-proven diagnostic data from the LIDC-IDRI dataset. Using the clinically provided pathologically-proven data as ground truth, the proposed framework provided an average accuracy of 77.52% via 10-fold cross-validation with a sensitivity of 79.06% and specificity of 76.11%, surpassing the state-of-the art method.

* 8 pages
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Radiomics has proven to be a powerful prognostic tool for cancer detection, and has previously been applied in lung, breast, prostate, and head-and-neck cancer studies with great success. However, these radiomics-driven methods rely on pre-defined, hand-crafted radiomic feature sets that can limit their ability to characterize unique cancer traits. In this study, we introduce a novel discovery radiomics framework where we directly discover custom radiomic features from the wealth of available medical imaging data. In particular, we leverage novel StochasticNet radiomic sequencers for extracting custom radiomic features tailored for characterizing unique cancer tissue phenotype. Using StochasticNet radiomic sequencers discovered using a wealth of lung CT data, we perform binary classification on 42,340 lung lesions obtained from the CT scans of 93 patients in the LIDC-IDRI dataset. Preliminary results show significant improvement over previous state-of-the-art methods, indicating the potential of the proposed discovery radiomics framework for improving cancer screening and diagnosis.

* 3 pages
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Prostate cancer is the most diagnosed form of cancer in Canadian men, and is the third leading cause of cancer death. Despite these statistics, prognosis is relatively good with a sufficiently early diagnosis, making fast and reliable prostate cancer detection crucial. As imaging-based prostate cancer screening, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), requires an experienced medical professional to extensively review the data and perform a diagnosis, radiomics-driven methods help streamline the process and has the potential to significantly improve diagnostic accuracy and efficiency, and thus improving patient survival rates. These radiomics-driven methods currently rely on hand-crafted sets of quantitative imaging-based features, which are selected manually and can limit their ability to fully characterize unique prostate cancer tumour phenotype. In this study, we propose a novel \textit{discovery radiomics} framework for generating custom radiomic sequences tailored for prostate cancer detection. Discovery radiomics aims to uncover abstract imaging-based features that capture highly unique tumour traits and characteristics beyond what can be captured using predefined feature models. In this paper, we discover new custom radiomic sequencers for generating new prostate radiomic sequences using multi-parametric MRI data. We evaluated the performance of the discovered radiomic sequencer against a state-of-the-art hand-crafted radiomic sequencer for computer-aided prostate cancer detection with a feedforward neural network using real clinical prostate multi-parametric MRI data. Results for the discovered radiomic sequencer demonstrate good performance in prostate cancer detection and clinical decision support relative to the hand-crafted radiomic sequencer. The use of discovery radiomics shows potential for more efficient and reliable automatic prostate cancer detection.

* 8 pages
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